Monday January 27, 2020

Anti-inflammatory Drugs May Put You at Heart Attack Risk

One should also rest and drink plenty of fluids if symptoms are mild or moderate, DePalma noted

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Heart Attack, women
Anti-inflammatory drugs may put you at heart attack risk. Pixabay

If you have been hit by the winter cold and are thinking about taking medicines that relieve your aches, pains and congestion, be careful. Those may also put your heart at risk, the American Heart Association has warned.

A study has showed that both decongestants and non-steroidal anti-inflammatories (NSAIDs), found in many cold medicines, were listed as medications that could increase blood pressure.

People who used NSAIDs while sick were more than three times as likely to have a heart attack within a week compared with the same time period about a year earlier when participants were neither sick nor taking an NSAID.

“People with uncontrolled high blood pressure or heart disease should avoid taking oral decongestants. And for the general population or someone with low cardiovascular risk, they should use them with the guidance of a health care provider,” said Sondra DePalma, from the University of Pittsburgh in the US.

Decongestants like pseudoephedrine or phenylephrine constrict blood vessels. They allow less fluid into your sinuses, “which dries you up”, said Erin Michos, associate director of preventive cardiology at the Johns Hopkins Univerity’s Ciccarone Center in Baltimore.

The biggest concerns are for people who have had a heart attack or stroke, or have heart failure or uncontrolled high blood pressure, Michos said, in the paper published in the Journal of Infectious Diseases.

heart disease
Representational image. (IANS)

Importantly, healthy people might also be at risk.

For the study, researchers looked at nearly 10,000 people with respiratory infections who were hospitalised for heart attacks.

Participants were 72 years old on average at the time of their heart attacks and many had cardiovascular risk factors, such as diabetes and high blood pressure.

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People who are sick should use both classes of medications — decongestants and NSAIDs — judiciously and understand the potential side effects.

In addition, decongestants should not be taken longer than seven days before consulting with a healthcare provider, DePalma said.

One should also rest and drink plenty of fluids if symptoms are mild or moderate, DePalma noted.  (IANS)

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BP Problems in Youth May Lead to Heart Diseases: Study

BP problems linked to higher heart disease risk in youths

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Heart
Wide swings in blood pressure readings among young adults are associated with a higher risk of heart disease. Pixabay

Wide swings in blood pressure readings among young adults are associated with a higher risk of cardiovascular disease by middle age, according to a new health study.

The findings, published in the journal JAMA Cardiology, suggests that the current practice of averaging blood pressure readings to determine whether medications are necessary could be masking a potential early warning sign from the fluctuations themselves.

“If a patient comes in with one reading in December and a significantly lower reading in January, the average might be within the range that would appear normal,” said study lead author Yuichiro Yano from Duke University in the US.

“But is that difference associated with health outcomes in later life?” Yano said.

“That’s the question we sought to answer in this study, and it turns out the answer is yes.” Yano added.

Heart BP
A systolic blood pressure reading over 130 is considered hypertensive and has long been a major risk factor for heart diseases. (Representational Image). Pixabay

The researchers arrived at their conclusion after analysing 30 years of data from a large, diverse cohort of young people enrolled in the Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults study between March 1985 and June 1986.

Of the 3,394 people studied, about 46 per cent were African American and 56 per cent were women.

The patients had regular blood pressure checks, with patterns evaluated across five visits, including at two, five, seven and 10 years. At the 10-year mark, the average age of the patients was about 35.

The main reading of concern to Yano’s research team was the systolic blood pressure level, the upper number in the equation that measures the pressure in the blood vessels when the heart pumps.

The researchers were able to identify which young people had variations in systolic blood pressure by the age of 35 and then track them over the next 20 years and see whether there appeared to be a correlating increase in cardiovascular disease.

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Over those years, study participants reported 181 deaths and 162 cardio-vascular events, which included fatal and nonfatal coronary heart disease, hospitalisation for heart failure, stroke, transient ischemic attack, or a stent procedure for blocked arteries.

The researchers found that each 3.6-mm spike in systolic blood pressure during young adulthood was associated with a 15-percent higher risk for heart disease events, independent of the averaged blood pressure levels during young adulthood and any single systolic blood pressure measurement in midlife. (IANS)